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The Gael Force SeaFarmBase on site in Newfoundland. Photo: Mowi.
The Gael Force SeaFarmBase on site in Newfoundland. Photo: Mowi.

Scottish aquaculture supplier Gael Force Group has delivered its first Canadian-built feed barge to Mowi Canada East.

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The Elizabeth Barlow was custom built in Atlantic Canada to enable remote operations and comfortable living for sea site staff working off the south coast of Newfoundland.

The barge was named after Mowi Canada East sustainability manager Elizabeth Barlow. 

The new barge on site. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Mowi.
The new barge on site. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Mowi.

“I think it is very fitting that this new state-of-the-art barge, which will play such a valuable role in achieving best practice and sustainable production on the water, will be named after a person who makes sure we keep our operations sustainable every day, in every way,” said managing director Jamie Gaskill in an article in Mowi Canada East’s monthly newsletter, INSITE.

“l look forward to the positive impact the new infrastructure will bring, and to continuing building our sea sites to the highest standard.”

Sustainable practices

Barlow said: “It's very satisfying to see new equipment and technology coming into practice that will help us become even more sustainable. 

“I am very happy to be part of the team that is bringing modern technology, sustainable practices and fantastic-tasting fish to Newfoundland and Atlantic Canada.” 

The barge measures 30 metres by 18 metres, holds 400 tonnes of feed, has a hull in accordance with the NS9415 standard, and has multiple levels that accommodate up to 10 people living and working on site.

The lounge area of the barge. Staff live on the barge for eight days at a time. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Mowi.
The lounge area of the barge. Staff live on the barge for eight days at a time. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Mowi.

Gym and sauna

On top is an elevated control room containing all the farm controls and feeding system computers, plus meeting space and day-use fish health facilities.

On the opposite side of the barge are the living quarters, which provide an open plan living space that includes a comfortable lounge, TV entertainment area, and modern kitchen facilities.

The farm staff, who work an eight-days-on, six-days-off shift pattern, have individual bedrooms, plus there are laundry facilities and washroom facilities. Recreational facilities include a gym and sauna. 

‘Very comfortable’

Mowi Canada East communications director Jason Card said staff were enthusiastic about working on the barge.

“We made sure people would be very comfortable,” he said. “We are going to be buying more barges. It has been a great relationship with Gael Force so far.”

The barge is a first for Gael Force. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Mowi.
The barge is a first for Gael Force. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Mowi.

Gael Force Group managing director Stewart Graham said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the completion of this SeaFarmBase and delighted with the response we have had from Mowi.

“Although we have decades of experience in designing and building nearly 100 feed barges, this was something a bit different for us. The outcome has been excellent, and we are grateful to the team at Mowi for putting their trust in us to deliver.”

Gael Force announced plans to expand into Canada in September 2018 and opened a branch in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, in July last year.

The SeaFarmBase is the latest addition to the company’s range of barges, created in response to an increasing number of more remotely operated farms and to enable staff to live aboard with access to comfortable and modern recreational facilities.

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